The Scottish islands are beautiful. Rugged cliffs and wave-pounded shores. On the tops of some of those cliffs you'll find stones sitting on the
grass. Sliding stones. After a severe storm bare patches show where the stones had been sitting before sliding a short distance inland. Many of these
stones are far too heavy to have been moved by wind alone.
So what is the mechanism?
I don't know his name. Just that he was determined to find the answer. Sixty years ago a young man settled himself in behind a boulder and waited as
the biggest storm of the winter blew in. Hours later, bedraggled and soaked, he had the answer.
The grass roots form a very strong mat, binding together the top layer of soil. During the strongest gusts great sheets of turf lift up at the eroding
edge of the cliff. The stones slide down the slope and the turf settles back down.
There are other phenomena that have yet to be explained.
A different mechanism I know, but reminds me of the moving boulders of Death Valley, also explained as result of patient observation.
Trampolines taking off - well, that's definitely one for lovers of Forteana. A huge number of reports of tornadoes and strong winds in the UK involve
trampolines being transported down the street, over walls and fences, onto rooftops...
Thank you very much for sharing this. I immediately thought of the Death Valley stones when I read the headline but was quite pleased to read the
mechanics behind this event. A fine example of how mysterious and amazing our world is.
Also a great example of examination and observation answering questions.
I saw the roof from our pump house glide through the air like it was weightless, half of my neighbors house get blown off, and entire grain bin go
airborne and into the field across the street due to a derecho.
True the trampoline isn't surprising. I was looking for a video showing the strength of a storm on the Scottish Islands, when I found that one I put
it in as a joke. This was the closest I found with a quick search but it doesn't show the cliff top experience.
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